In urban areas, where nature is hard to come by, we notice the decline in biodiversity that keeps our environment balanced. As a landscaping company, we plant a variety of plants to beautify and bring flora back into the picture. With flora, comes fauna and we encourage homeowners to welcome nature into their landscape.
Plants to Add to Your Landscape
Adding greenery to the landscape is the first step. Here are a few suggestions to build your garden and encourage butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Planting native trees will quickly benefit the environment. Flowering trees will provide nectar for pollinators and hummingbirds. Once the flowers are pollinated, they produce fruit or berries for birds and other critters. They also provide nesting places for birds, squirrels and bats. If you have space to plant a few trees clustered together, this would create a woodland habitat drawing a wider range of wildlife.
Shrubs and hedges provide additional nesting areas for birds and other small animals. As an added benefit, find shrubs that flower and produce berries for food. Shrubs and hedges also help to shelter the garden from heavy rains and winter winds. Suitable hedge plants include yews, privets, burning bush, forsythia, hydrangea, the list goes on.
Butterflies and bees are drawn to areas of wildflowers. Buddlea, butterfly weed and milkweed are favorites of many butterflies. Coneflower, bee balm, catmint, coreopsis, lavender, liatris, lily, phlox, sunflower, veronica, and yarrow are just a tiny selection of the plants you could choose to encourage wildlife. Plants that are over-bred so that they have two flowers per stem will not provide much nectar or pollen so are best avoided.
Annuals can be tucked in among the perennials as an added pop of color and nectar. Annuals that draw pollinators attention are: ageratum, cosmos, marigolds, Mexican sunflower, petunias, zinnia, to name a few.
Other Elements to Attract Wildlife
Besides plantings, there are many architectural elements to add in any garden to attract wildlife. These elements could be simple and hidden in the landscape or they could be grand and add a statuesque form for you to enjoy as well.
Even a small water feature will help to attract different creatures. Whether it be a fountain or a rain collection barrel, the sound of running water will set the tone for your garden. Birds are especially attracted to water; however, all creatures need some amount of water to survive. If you have space for a pond this will diversify your garden ecosystem immensely. Use plants like water lilies and broad leaf pond weed to develop your underwater habitat.
Bird Table and Bath
A bird table provides a useful feeding perch away from predators and a bird bath provides a water source for drinking and washing. Make sure your bird bath doesn’t freeze over in winter by pouring boiling water over it. If you have a cat, put a bell on its collar to prevent it from bringing home your carefully nurtured wildlife as an unwanted offering.
Hang a bird feeder filled with unsalted seeds from a tree or get one that attaches to a window for a close-up view. Squirrel-proof bird feeders are best to ensure the they don’t steal all the food from the birds. Seed mixes are ideal for attracting a variety of bird species.
If you would like birds to make your garden their home, nesting boxes encourage that. They prompt birds to stay and breed to perpetuate the presence of that type of bird. Different types of birds prefer different types of boxes. Place these boxes where they are sheltered from the elements. If you install it before spring, you may catch a host during the breeding season.
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